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1ST LEAD NSA chief: Trump mentioning Merkel spying affair 'complicates things' By Anne K Walters, dpa

Europe
20.03.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - US President Donald Trump has not helped US-German relations by bringing up the fact the country spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head of the National Security Agency said Monday.

"It certainly complicates things, but I think we have to keep moving forward," Admiral Mike Rogers told the House Intelligence Committee, days after Trump joked to Merkel that the leaders had something in common in being objects of surveillance by the Barack Obama administration.

"We have foundational interests with each other and have to keep working together," Rogers added.

Trump joked in a press conference with Merkel on Friday that "at least we have something in common, perhaps," referring to the NSA eavesdropping on Merkel‘s mobile phone during the Obama administration nearly four years ago.

Trump has also alleged the Obama administration wiretapped his phones but there is "no information" to support his claims, FBI Director James Comey said Monday.

NSA chief Rogers also dismissed allegations that the British spy agency had been monitoring Trump‘s presidential campaign.

"That would be expressly against the construct of the Five Eyes agreement that‘s been in place for decades," Rogers said, referring to a no-spying agreement between the US and four other nations, including Britain.

He said he agreed with British assessments that the claim of their involvement was ridiculous and that it "clearly frustrates a key ally."

In a briefing last week, White House spokesman Sean Spicer cited allegations by Fox News commentator and former judge Andrew Napolitano that Britain‘s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had aided Obama in tapping Trump‘s calls.

 

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